GAZA: Hamas said on Monday foreigners wishing to enter the Gaza Strip would require visas, enabling its administration to monitor aid workers and pro-Palestinian activists more closely.
The new rules will take effect from Tuesday. Separate visa requirements for foreign journalists are still being worked out.
Hamas’ Gaza-based Interior Ministry said the visa requirements were aimed at keeping foreigners safe in the coastal enclave where militants have kidnapped some in the past.
It said foreigners should “coordinate their entry a week in advance” and that those staying for more than a week will have to register with the Interior Ministry.
The rules will enable Hamas, which is shunned by Western governments over its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence, to keep closer track of foreigners both for their own safety and to make life easier for Hamas security services